'Uncle Mo' poll after Week 11 keeps Tide on top, with Hogs moving up
Just like last week, Alabama notched the most significant win in the SEC and took a giant step toward getting to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. Florida didn’t win pretty, but kept its playoff hopes alive. The hottest team in the conference right now, and surging in momentum, might just the one coached by Bret Bielema.
Uncle Mo watched the games, checked out the polls before and after, and read all the beat-writer breakdowns to figure out which SEC teams have the most momentum going for them right now.
Let’s see where everyone stands:
- Alabama: Somewhat surprisingly, the Crimson Tide’s three biggest wins this season have come on the road. The Crimson Tide’s 31-6 thumping of Mississippi State in Starkville left no doubt about who’s the best in the SEC West. Nick Saban’s team gets a tune up with Charleston Southern in Week 12.
- Arkansas: Just like last year, the Razorbacks seem to wait to play their best football until November. Arkansas’ 31-14 “whooping” on LSU in Death Valley has a lot of SEC East teams (except for Tennessee and Missouri) glad they don’t play Bret Bielema’s team this season.
- Florida: The Gators almost saw their playoff hopes disappear when the Gamecocks came alive for a 14-point rally in the fourth quarter. UF put it together for one final scoring drive to make it 24-14 and seal the deal. Florida (9-1) finished a 6-0 sweep of the SEC East and should get to 10 wins against Florida Atlantic.
- Georgia: It wasn’t pretty, but Coach Mark Richt will gladly take a 20-13 victory over rival Auburn. Not too long ago the Bulldogs’ season looked like a trainwreck, but UGA is on pace to finish the regular season 9-3 and could get to 10 with a bowl victory. Georgia should have no trouble to getting an eighth win against Georgia Southern.
- Missouri: After a week of turmoil on campus, the MU football team traveled to Kansas City and snapped its four-game losing skid with a 20-16 upset of BYU. At 5-5, Missouri needs a win against Tennessee this Saturday or Arkansas next Friday to get to bowl eligibility in Gary Pinkel’s final season as head coach.
- Vanderbilt: A week after almost upsetting SEC East champion Florida, the Commodores went home and grabbed their second conference win of the season, defeating Kentucky 21-17. At 4-6, Vandy needs to pull off an upset against Texas A&M to keep its bowl hopes alive.
- Texas A&M: The Aggies used their Western Carolina gimme game to build some confidence on offense with a 41-17 win. A true indicator of offensive progress will be how TAMU looks taking on a tough Vanderbilt defense this Saturday.
- Tennessee: The Volunteers defeated North Texas 24-0 to improve to 6-4, but the low point total has to be somewhat of a concern in Rocky Top heading into a Week 12 matchup with Missouri.
- Ole Miss: The Rebels were off in Week 11, and didn’t get any help from rival Mississippi State with the Bulldogs failing to knock off Alabama. A few weeks ago, the Magnolia Rivalry game looked like it could be for a spot in the SEC East Championship, but that’s no longer the case with Alabama at 6-1 in conference play. Mississippi can keep its Atlanta hopes alive if it can hand LSU a third consecutive loss.
- LSU: The Tigers’ season has turned completely upside down from two weeks ago when LSU sat in the SEC West driver’s seat and was No. 2 in the playoff poll. With the SEC Championship Game no longer a possibility, and thus a playoff berth, the Bayou Bengals’ best hope is a Sugar Bowl bid if it can bounce back against Ole Miss and take care of Texas A&M.
- Mississippi State: The Bulldogs outgained Alabama but lost the stat that mattered the most – four touchdowns to zero. With three losses, MSU is unlikely to make a New Year’s Six bowl unless the SEC West beats up on each other in the final two weeks, but would need to beat a red-hot Arkansas team on Saturday before it can think about a possible Sugar Bowl or Peach Bowl bid.
- Auburn: Just when one starts to think maybe the Tigers are turning the corner, they lose a 20-13 game to Georgia. Coach Gus Malzahn is now 2-8 in his last 10 SEC games. A win against 3-7 Idaho will give Auburn (5-5) bowl eligibility.
- Kentucky: The Wildcats’ losing streak hit five games with a loss to perennial SEC East basement-dweller Vanderbilt. UK should be able to bounce back against Charlotte this Saturday and get to 5-6 with the chance to play for bowl eligibility in Week 13 against Louisville.
- South Carolina: The Gamecocks are the first SEC team removed from the bowl picture, falling to 3-7 on the year with a 24-14 loss to Florida. USC takes on The Citadel in Week 12 before trying to ruin Clemson’s perfect season in its regular-season finale.